Johnny James Simmons goes home


Johnny James Simmons was born on January 15th at Mercy Hospital in St. Petersburg to the late Ruby and Andrew Simmons, Sr. “JJ,” as he was affectionately known, passed out of this life Monday, Jan. 16.

Simmons served his country proudly in the U.S. Army as a member of the 82nd Airborne Infantry and received the Purple Heart for combat service in Vietnam. He was raised up in Queen Street Church of God In Christ and attended area schools.

A member of the Nite Riders Van Club, Simmons was an accomplished automobile mechanic and truck driver. He loved to race cars and was known across the country by his CB radio handle, the “Soul Twister.”

Simmons made Douglas, Ga., his home, where he touched many lives and was a member of the Everett Chapel CME Church.

He is preceded in death by his brother, Andrew Simmons, Jr. and sisters Rosetta Simmons and Ruth Jordan. He leaves to cherish his memory his loving partner in life Verlette Walters, his sister Alma Simmons Bell, daughters Simona “Tina” Simmons of St. Petersburg, Robin Thomas and (Baby) Kimberly Green, son, Rev. Wayne Thomas all of Douglas, grandson, Michael Anderson, Jr., nephews, David Davidson, Ricky Simmons and Craig Jordan, nieces Davida Davidson, Doris Jordan and Chanique Bell, and close friends Cleveland Ferguson, Eddie Rodgers and Willie Little, Jr., along with a host of other nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives and friends.

Rest well Soul Twister. Maa Kheru

Funeral services will be held Friday, Jan. 27 in Douglas, Ga. Arrangements will be conducted by Harrell’s Funeral Home, 400 E. Cherry St., Douglas, Ga.  For more information, go to

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